Steve Hogseth, of Wild Kane County, gave the following as a three-minute comment during the hearing on May 19, 2016, in Salt Lake City, held by the Department of the Interior to encourage public comment on the future of coal in the U.S.
My name is Steve Hogseth. While I am representing myself, my children, and my grandchildren, more importantly I am representing all children and all grandchildren on the planet.
I clearly understand the concern over coal mining jobs. We all know we are facing a global dilemma, with two critical elements at stake … energy and a healthy environment. I’m confident that by incorporating astute management we can systematically wean ourselves from fossil fuels and … this is very important … promote education to help train and transition our coal miners to greener jobs. The sooner the USA takes a leadership role, the sooner we can tap into countless job opportunities of the rapidly growing renewable energy industry.
Unless people understand the science, they can easily be fooled to deny climate change. The incessant mantra is “the climate is always changing,” … along with an array of junk science, created by over 200 think tanks, funded by the fossil fuel industry, and echoed by politicians lacking scientific literacy.
Deniers often site scientific facts from millions of years ago. Such ancient facts are irrelevant since modern man did not walk the planet until 200,000 years ago. The fossil fuels we are burning today required 3-400 million years for Mother Nature to produce. We have burned half that in just 200 years, and the recent burn rate is exponential. In the 400,000 years prior to the Industrial Revolution, CO2 levels cycled between 180 and 290ppm, and in the two centuries since, we quickly crossed that threshold, now exceeding 400ppm. During those 400,000 years, the most rapid change in CO2 levels – EVER!! – was a 90ppm change that required 15,000 years. Since 1930, the CO2 level has increased 100ppm … like a skyrocket! … a rate 175 times FASTER than the FASTEST change in those previous 400,000 years! Again … what required 15,000 years THEN, took only 85 years NOW! These fuels have clearly been a monumental factor in this dilemma. The well-being of seven billion people is at risk.
Just one example of proof we can see and measure … The annual loss of Greenland’s ice today, is melting into the Atlantic Ocean at a rate three times faster than the water falling over Niagara Falls. The science is irrefutable! Leave the coal in the ground!